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5 Ways to Balance a Bedroom With Only One Nightstand

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A bedroom with two nightstands has become the norm in bedroom design. If you only have one nightstand, the simple answer is to buy a similar or matching nightstand. However, your budget or room size may not have the room for a second nightstand. Therefore, you are stuck with a bed and one nightstand.

Do you know how to balance a bedroom with one nightstand? With the right layout, it’s not too challenging. Master the one-nightstand dilemma by learning the bedroom design rules and layouts. Don’t forget to consider whether or not you share the space with someone else.

Nightstand with flower vase on top

How to Balance a Bedroom With Only One Nightstand 

To design a bedroom with only one nightstand, you need to understand the bedroom design rules. These components help to balance the room and ensure that your bedroom is a comfortable space where you’re able to relax. We’ll discuss the three S’s which are rules you should follow to create balance in your room. The S’s stand for symmetry, space, and scale.


In the bedroom, the bed is the centerpiece. Two nightstands balance the room while offering personal space. Without disturbing the other person, you can access the nightstand and enter/exit the bed. It is also visually pleasing. 

So, if you only have one nightstand, you may be throwing off the symmetry in the space. You can add something to the other side of the bed to help fix that problem. 


Do you have the space in your room for a nightstand? Do you have the space for two nightstands? After all, the bed occupies most of the bedroom space. A nightstand shouldn’t take up the rest of it. 

Small and unusual-shaped rooms need as much room as possible. As a result, these rooms favor one nightstand or two slimmer nightstands to create space in a room that lacks it.


As you swap out nightstands to accommodate space, does the new nightstand suit the bed? The nightstand is there to balance the bed, not to be the focal point. So, if your eyes focus more on the nightstand than the bed, the nightstand is too big. The nightstand should be about mattress height or no more than three inches above it. 

For width and depth, the best measurements in inches are:

  • 18″ to 22″ long and 18″ to 22″ deep for twin beds
  • 20″ long and 20″ deep for full beds
  • 22″ to 24″ long and 22″ to 25″ deep for queen beds
  • 23″ to 25″ long and 23″ to 25″ deep for king beds

Is it Okay to Have Only One Nightstand?

You see stylish bedrooms in home magazines, lifestyle journals, and home decor websites. Most beautiful bed photographs contain two nightstands, so are two nightstands the default? It seems that way.

What makes that more confusing is that most bedroom sets include only one nightstand. Companies are responding to most room sizes in old and new homes. Since most run on the small side, there is a lack of space available for two nightstands. Because of this, it is perfectly fine to have only one nightstand in the bedroom. 

The problem with one nightstand is room balance. How do you balance the other side of the bed? The following paragraph describes the layouts that balance a bedroom using one nightstand.

Industrial-inspired bedroom with one nightstand on the left of the bed

Where Should a Nightstand Be Placed in a Bedroom if You Only Have One?

After following the design rules for one nightstand, it’s time to pick a layout. Five layouts are acceptable in styling and balancing a bedroom.

Between Two Beds

A nightstand between two twin beds or twin XL beds is a tried-and-true design that balances the room. While the beds are the focal point, the beds serving as bookends meet the symmetry rule, too. And, the one nightstand satisfies the space rule. This option is suitable for two people sharing a room who sleep in separate beds. 

Next to a Corner Bed

If the bed is in the corner, that eliminates one side of the bed. The wall balances out one side of the bed. Then, you can use the nightstand to balance out the other side. This layout is suitable for single occupants.

On the Entry Door Wall

If the bed is next to an entry door or closet door, the door will provide the balance for one side of the room. Blocking the door blocks access to the outside. So, you can place the single nightstand on the other side of the bed. This layout works for two people sharing the bed if one person doesn’t need a nightstand.

At the Foot of the Bed

Place the nightstand at the foot of the bed as a replacement for an ottoman or bench. This is a great option for bed locations where no nightstand will fit beside it. If a wall, floor-to-ceiling window, or door occupies both sides of the bed, the only solution is at the foot of the bed.

The foot of the bed is also a great idea when you want to place two unique items on both sides of the bed. The unique location moves the nightstand out of the way so you can customize the bookends how you want.

Between the Bed and the Wall

For two people who want to balance out the bed with something on both sides, give this alternate solution a go. In this layout, the nightstand goes between the bed and the wall. That offers personal space for the person sleeping on that side. Then, you can choose one of the seven options below to balance out the other side of the bed.

End table

An end table is the first option for a nightstand substitute. The end table must complement the nightstand in color, depth, width, and height. It won’t match the nightstand in terms of storage, but that’s a small sacrifice for a balanced room. Unify the mismatched items with identical table lamps or mirrors on the countertop.

Chest of drawers

A two-drawer or three-drawer chest offers the same countertop space and storage as a nightstand. With so many colors and styles, you can find the perfect chest to complement the nightstand. Check the height, depth, and width before buying. You can also use unused chests around the house and antiques to fill the space.

Floor lamp

A tall floor lamp provides illumination on your end of the bed and balances out the nightstand. It comes in many shapes and colors, so finding one that will match the nightstand won’t be a problem. Bonus points if the floor lamp includes storage space underneath.

Bookshelf or bookcase

Get storage, style, and balance by adding a bookshelf or bookcase on one side of the bed. A small bookcase or bookshelf has two or three open shelves with countertop space. Pick a bookshelf or bookcase in your selected color that blends with your bedroom decor style. Use mirrors or table lamps to unite the mismatched items.


A desk next to a bed combines its function with accessible storage and countertop space. Use it for office work during the day and a nightstand at night. When desk shopping, choose a low-profile and space-saving desk in the color of your choice.

Tall plants

An unusual choice for bed balance is using tall plants. Plants from floor to headboard height or higher are best to balance the room. It also brings the outdoors indoors. If you have real plants, they will also cleanse the air. 


A second unusual choice for bedroom balance is a chair. A chair is good to sit on and to set items on. To match the chair to the nightstand, find something in common. It can be the color, style, age, or material.

Black bed with black nightstand

What Are the Pros and Cons of Having Only One Nightstand?


Space Saver

Small and unusual-shaped rooms only have space for one nightstand. With one nightstand, you’ll create room to balance out the other side with whatever you want.


A bed with one nightstand costs less than two nightstands. One nightstand comes as part of a bedroom set with a bed, chest, dresser, and mirror. A second nightstand is a separate purchase. It’s easier to buy the bedroom set with one nightstand than buy the bedroom set plus a second nightstand.

Layout Flexibility

There are many layout options for a bedroom with only one nightstand. The layout choices may have the nightstand in the center or on the side. These layouts look so great that buying a second nightstand is not necessary.


Lacks Symmetry

Think about scales. When you add something on one side and nothing on the other, it isn’t balanced. The same goes for bedrooms and nightstands.

A bed with a nightstand on one side and nothing on the other side looks unbalanced to the visual eye. In order to create balance, you need something on the other side. One nightstand breaks the symmetry design rule.

Layout Dependent

A bedroom with one nightstand depends on a proper layout to make the bedroom look great. Without it, a bed with one nightstand is not aesthetically pleasing. Meanwhile, two nightstands on each side of the bed are an effortless design. 

Made for One Person

A nightstand is suitable for one person. If two people share, there won’t be much storage space and countertop space. If both people want a nightstand, you must buy a second one or find an alternative option.


Your bedroom is meant to be a comfortable space where you can relax. Only you and the person sharing it can decide what decor works and what doesn’t. One nightstand in a bedroom works as long as you balance out the other side. All you need to do is focus on design rules, the number of occupants, and the layout.

Did you balance your bedroom with one nightstand? Do you know how to do it successfully? Share your insights in the comments below.

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